Guidance

Workplace rights after Brexit

How your rights in the workplace could be affected if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

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In most cases there will be no changes to workplace rights if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

However, there will be some changes to rules on:

  • employer insolvency for UK employees working in the EU
  • membership of European Works Councils

Employer insolvency

UK and EU employees working in the UK

The rights of UK and EU employees working in the UK will not change after a no-deal Brexit. You will still be protected if your employer becomes insolvent.

UK employees working in an EU country for a UK employer

If your employer becomes insolvent you may still be protected by the national guarantee fund established in the EU country in which you work. However, your rights may differ in each country depending on how that country extends protections to non-EU employers and employees.

Check the law of the country you’re working in, to make sure you know what will happen if your employer becomes insolvent. Contact the relevant British embassy, high commission or consulate for more information about the law in a particular EU country.

European Works Councils

Currently workers can ask their employer to set up a European Works Council (EWC) to provide information and consult with employees on issues affecting employees in 2 or more European Economic Area countries.

UK employees

If you are employed in the UK you will no longer be able to ask your employer to set up an EWC after Brexit. However, if a request to set up an EWC is submitted before we leave the EU it will be allowed to complete.

If you’re currently a representative, you may be able to be involved with your company’s EWC after Brexit if your company agrees. We will make sure the enforcement framework, rights and protections for employees in UK EWCs are still available as far as possible.

UK businesses and trade unions

UK businesses with an existing EWC, and trade unions that are involved in EWC agreements, may need to review those agreements if there’s a no-deal Brexit. We would encourage businesses to continue to allow UK workers to be represented on EWCs on a voluntary basis.

The existing rights of employees to be informed and consulted about issues at work will not change after Brexit.

More information

Published 8 August 2019